The face of the new Elegant Touch Express Nails, presenter Jameela Jamil, has a refreshing approach to being a brand ambassador. Here she tells Cosmo’s Online Beauty Editor that beauty is all about expressing yourself, NOT about must-haves.
Ever true-to-herself Jameela Jamil is a loud-and-proud feminist, and you don’t often see her putting her name, or face, to commercial products. But with her stunning features, model stature and confident signature style you can see why she’d sell them. “I’m always quite sceptical because I get approached by brands quite a lot and I don’t want to put my name to something that will fail young women,” she says.
So what was different about Elegant Touch? The media star has just got a gig fronting their new Express Nails collection. Yes, stick-on nails. “I was always very anti stick-on nails because my association with them is hooker nails! You know, square nails looking like Wolverine’s cousin, and I wonder ‘how do you go to the loo?’ – but these are natural and really beautiful.”
“I looked at the collection – it was as if they designed it for me. They didn’t, but it’s everything I wanted. They’re quirky, fun, edgy, a bit bold. They can encourage a woman who doesn’t incorporate a lot of colour into her wardrobe to start playing with colour and patterns and to have a bit of extra personality in what she wears without having to commit to a new dress or outfit. They’re an accessory that don’t care how old you are, how tall you are, what size you are or what your style is. They’re non-discriminating.” Well we never thought of nail products in that way but she’s right. Plus at £7.99 a pack they’re very affordable, and an easy way to accessorise if you’re not clothing-confident.
“I didn’t know anything about fashion when I joined the industry. I went from having three tracksuits to landing Alexa Chung’s position – the style icon of Britain! I think nail colour was how I started to experience. Then jewellery, then bags and shoes and finally my clothes. Accessories are a safe, non-committal way to start.”
And being stick-on and flick-off these nails seem pretty easy for accessory addicts to match to their moods, and perfect for commitment-phobes – which Jameela admits to being – as well as “the biggest sinner when it comes to the mini cab manicure”.
“They’re really quick. They’re really comfortable. They are convenient. What’s nice as well is that don’t damage your nails at all. I tried acrylics once and they ruined my nails, it took me six months to grow them out.”
But it seems these temporary adornments are the furthest Jameela will go in experimenting with her beauty look. “I get a lock of stick for the fact that I don’t change up my hair and makeup, but I’m a broadcaster not a model. I encourage women to do what they want to do. You know those two words ‘must-have’, I think they’re really unhealthy. Of course its business but it creates a panic that you have to have something otherwise you’re not good enough. I learnt that the hard way when I got some pleather crocodile flares! Topshop said they were must-have! You have to dress for your shape, your taste and your skin colour.” Wise words, Ms Jamil.
Well we LOVE her signature style, with the quirky star sticker on her face. “They’re from Rymans, I used to be a teacher and had lots of gold stars hanging around. I had to interview Russell Brand and I had the worst spots at the time and I thought if I put stickers on my face it would distract. And it worked! My T4 producer said it looked ridiculous and to never do it again and to spite him I did it for a year and then it kinda caught on.”
So is it true she ALWAYS does her own hair and makeup? Yes. “I always do my own makeup. I’m not really into preening. I cut my own hair because I don’t want to be in the salon for two hours. A spa is my idea of a hostage situation – it turns into Prison Break, I’m there in my dressing gown trying to find an exit.”
Although she presumes no one would want a masterclass in her makeup, upon request she explains her eyeliner technique: “I use Bobbi Brown or Maybelline Gel. I cover the line of my eye first, do the centre bit, then I use a really thin brush and layer to make it thicker. I do the inside and outside afterwards. Really slowly, then a millimetre each side and another millimetre each side and keep doing that until they’re completely even. My eyes are naturally uneven – like an orangutan’s tits, but I fake it with eyeliner!”
Well if that’s not self-expression, we don’t know what is.